20 growing regions

Description to Spain

The viticulture in Spain has an age-old tradition, because already 3000 years v. Chr. Were Chr vines n cultivated. The Phoenicians founded around 1100 BC The city of Gadir (Cádiz) and operated rain trade in wine in the Mediterranean. The first flowering period was 200 BC. Chr., Because the Romans loved the wine from Baetica (Andalusia). The development was stopped by the invasion of the Moors in 711. For religious reasons, the Muslims cleared large parts of the vineyards or allowed only the production of raisins, They brought the art of distillation which, however, was not used for alcoholic beverages, but essential oils, as fragrances and fragrances. Only after 700 years did the Christians succeed in recapturing and as they advanced south, they laid new vineyards. As in many other countries, it was mostly Catholic monastic orders who cultivated vines in the vicinity of their monasteries altar wine planted. In the following centuries, viticulture became an important economic and export branch. From the beginning of the 16th century, the conquistadors brought huge quantities of wine to the newly discovered America. The Spaniards planted there in many areas of European vines and thus initiated the cultivation of wine on this continent, especially in Central and South America, They made a significant contribution in many countries of the world New world,

In the second half of the 19th century fell the phylloxera also in Spain and destroyed most of the vineyards. But Rioja was spared for the time being and when the pest reached this area in the early 20th century, most of the vineyards were already planted with grafted vines. The French could no longer meet the demand for wine in their own country due to the vineyards destroyed by the phylloxera. First, French traders bought large quantities of wine in Spain, later many French winemakers emigrated to Spain and operated viticulture. Their sophisticated cellar technology has left a lasting mark on viticulture until today.

In the early 1930s there was political unrest. These eventually led to the Spanish Civil War and ended in 1939 with the victory of the nationalists under General Franco. During this time vineyards and many wineries were destroyed on a large scale. After opening the borders and joining the European Union In 1986 there was a new beginning in Spanish viticulture. From the 1960s began a big boom with the typical Spanish wines Rioja and sherry, Today, Spain is one of the most dynamic wine countries in the world. In 2012, the vineyard area amounted to 1.017 million hectares, of which 31.1 million hectoliters of wine were produced. This places Spain at the top of the list worldwide and is a knight Italy and France constantly for the first place (see also under Wine production volumes ).

Soil & climate

Spain is one of the most mountainous countries in Europe. The land is criss-crossed by large river veins that provide water for the vineyards. These are Ebro and Duero in the north, the Tagus in the west, the Guadiana in the south, and Júcar and Turia in the east. Spain is divided into three climatic zones. In the "green Spain" in the north with Aragon, Asturias, Basque country. Galicia. Cantabria. Catalonia. Navarra and La Rioja There is a high amount of precipitation with hot summers and cold winters. In the center lies the extensive central plateau Meseta (Tafelland) with the regions Extremadura and La Mancha, It is characterized by extremely hot summers, very cold winters and low rainfall. The third zone is the coastline with the southern one Catalonia, of the Levant and Andalusia, Here sea breezes ease the hot summers, but there is also little rainfall.

Regions & Cultivation Areas

A new classification system with a registered designation of origin was introduced in 1970, based on the Italian and French wine laws. About half of the vineyard has until now DO status. Around 70% of Spanish production is accounted for by simple consumption wines. About the quality designation "Denominación de Origen" is the name of the DO (for example, Alicante, Ribera del Guadiana or Tarragona), only the sparkling wine cava and sherry there is an exception, as the names speak so to speak for themselves. The regions with their areas classified as DO, DOCa or Vino de Pago:



Balearic Islands with 2,200 ha

Basque country



Canary Islands with 9,000 ha

  • Abona
  • El Hierro
  • Gran Canaria
  • La Gomera
  • Lanzarote
  • La Palma
  • Monte Lentiscal
  • Tacoronte-Acentejo
  • Valle de Güìmar
  • Valle da la Orotava
  • Ycoden-Daute-Isora


  • Costa de Cantabria (IPR)
  • Líebana (IPR)

Castile and Leon


La Mancha with 200,000 ha


Navarra with 17,300 ha

Rioja (DOCa, 3 sub-areas) with 62,000 ha

Vinos de Madrid (3 Sub-DO's) with 11,800 ha


There are over 600 grape varieties, of which the majority autochthonous Varieties that are only used locally in often small quantities. Of the Blend 2010 (Statistics Kym Anderson ):



Synonyms or Spanish name


Airén White Burra Blanca, Colgadera 252364
Tempranillo red Cencibel, Chinchillana, Tinto del País 207677
Bobal red Moravio, Tinta Madrid 80120
Garnacha Tinta red Grenache Noir, Cannonau 70,140
Monastrell red Mataro, Mourvedre 58406
Cayetana Blanca White Jaén Blanco, Pardina 39593
Macabeo White Viura 38417
Cabernet Sauvignon red - 23237
Syrah red Shiraz 20,000
Alicante Henri Bouschet red Garnacha Tintorera 19551
Palomino White Palomino Fino, Listán Blanco 18836
Verdejo White Albillo de Nava 16578
Merlot red - 15540
Pedro Ximénez White Pedro Ximenes, Pero Ximén, PX 9036
Parellada White Montañesa, Montona, Perrelada 8847
Xarello White Pansal, Premsal, Xarel • Lo 8393
Muscat d'Alexandrie White Moscatel de Alejandría, Moscatel Gordo 8237
Mencia red Jaén du Dão, Loureiro Tinto 8204
Tinto Velasco red Tinto de la Pámpana Blanca 7829
Chardonnay White - 6958
Chelva White Chelva de Cebreros, Mantúo, Uva Rey 6168
mazuelo red Cariñena, Samsó, Carignan 4749
Prieto Picudo red Prieto Picudo Tinto 4587
Pardillo White Blanca Pequene, Marisancho, Pardilla 4364
Zalema White Del Pipajo, Perruna, Zalemo 4097
Sauvignon Blanc White - 4011
Merseguera White Esquitxagos, Marisancho 3946
Alvarinho White Albariño 3507
Beba White Beba de los Santos, Blanca de Mesa 3036
Listán Negro red Almuñeco, Listán Morado, Negra Común 2666
Carignan Blanc White Carina Blanca, Carinyena Blanca, Samso Blanco 2650
Marufo red Brujidera, Crujideiro, Moravia Dulce 2571
Graciano red Monastrell Menudo, Moristell, Tintilla de Rota 2281
Garnacha Blanca White Grenache Blanc 2263
Verdoncho White - 2124
Rojal Tinta red Rojal 1801
alarije White Acería, Alarije Verdoso, Arin 1726
Petit Verdot red - 1661
Juan Garcia red Malvasía Negra, Mouratón, Négron de Aldán 1572
perruno White Casta de Montúo, Firmissima, Getibi 1509
Planta Nova White Tortozón 1366
Trepat red Bonicaire, Carlina, Trepat Negre 1358
Albillo Mayor White Albilla, Pardina, Turruntes 1312

wine law

The central organ for all quality wines is the INDO (National Institute of Denominaciónes de Origen), with each DO area having its own regulatory authority, the "Consejo Regulador". It is home to winemakers, producers, traders and the Ministry of Agriculture, as well as biochemists. This authority defines with the "Reglamento" the approved grape varieties, the permitted documents, the yield in hectoliters per hectare, the stocking density, the pruning and the production methods (maturing technique, alcohol content, residual sugar, dry extract values). The authority also decides on new plantings. Only after organoleptic Testing the wines by a committee of the Consejo will release the label.

Wine categories : In August 2009, the EU wine market regulations became valid for all member countries with fundamental changes to the wine names and quality levels. There are the following new names or quality levels (see also in detail under quality system ):

  • Vino (formerly Vino de Mesa or ) = Wine
  • IGP (formerly VdlT) = country wine
  • DOP = or the alternatively possible old designations DO, DOCa, VCIG, VdP = quality wine

IGP (Indicación Geográfica Protegida) : There are 41 IGP areas.

DOP (Denominación de Origen Protegida) : In the case of quality wines, there are five different categories within the designation DOP, which may be reused as traditional names:

VCIG (Vino de Calidad con Indicación Geográfica) : These are quality wines of geographical origin with regional characteristics regarding grape varieties and winemaking (formerly this was a step between land and quality wines or a DO precursor). There are seven such areas.

DO (Denominación de Origen) : There are 67 DO areas

DOCa (Denominación de Origen Calificada) : This level was introduced in 1988 (and corresponds to the objective of the DOCG in Italy). It is awarded only to wines from outstanding areas whose production is controlled with particular care. Only two areas have been classified, namely Rioja in 1991 and Priorato in 2001. Will be the next candidate Ribera del Duero called.

Vino de Pago (DO) or Vino de Pago Calificado (DOCa): This name was introduced in 2003 for vineyards or vineyards with a special character. They can be within a DO or DOCa range, but also outside it. Mostly they are in possession of a single winery. A detailed description as well as a complete list of the 17 classified areas is under Vino de Pago contain.

In addition, there are a variety of traditional names associated with winemaking and quality. The most important of these are:

Maturity : Traditionally, Spanish wines are only at maturity marketed. Depending on the type of wine, there are specifications for the aging time in barrel and / or bottle. Top producers often exceed these deadlines. The white and rosé wines each have only six months to mature in barrels and may each come one year earlier in the trade; There are hardly any Reservas or Gran Reservas. For the red wines, there are the following names:

Joven : young wine, which is sold the year after the grape harvest and only has matured for a short time (maximum six months) or not at all in the barrel. These are intended for immediate consumption.

Crianza : These wines must have matured for at least 24 months, including six months in barrel and 18 months in bottle.

Reserva : These wines must have matured for at least 36 months, of which at least 12 months in barrel and the rest in the bottle. Is reserved for DO and DOCa wines.

Gran Reserva : These wines must have matured for at least 60 months, of which at least 18 months (until 2005 there were 24) in barrel and dRest in bottle. Is reserved for DO and DOCa wines.

Aging classification : Regardless of the terms for Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva, there are names that may be used depending on the aging and development. These are Añejo (24 months), Noble (18 months) and Viejo (36 months). These are not without controversy, since they attest a priori a "better quality" to this with a higher age of a wine.

label : Included are among others candy degree (seco = dry, semiseco = semi-dry, abocado = semisweet, dulce = sweet) and wine (Clarete = bright red wine, Cava Sparkling wine, tinto = dark wine, rosado = rosé wine, generoso = dessert wine).

In the wine guide you will find
currently 133 455 Wines and 23 043 Producers, including 1 395 classified producers.
Rating system About Their sources in Wine Guide Wine Samples


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